Taking Back Sunday rocks the Fillmore
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to the Taking Back Sunday concert at the Fillmore here in Denver. It was sunny outside, the line wasn’t too long, and venue is only a few blocks from my house, so I was really excited to go. It was hard for me to shake off the awesomeness and spectacle of the My Chemical Romance concert, but I knew I had to enter the Fillmore with a clean concert slate.
We snagged a great place off to the side where we could really see both the stage and the crowd. I felt like a documentarian, only without a camera. The view was great and we even had a place to sit. The crowd was hyped up as the lights cut out and Armor for Sleep took the stage. All the girls around us started dancing, flipping their hair, and taking cell phone pictures of the band. The boys were into it, but not quite as much. One guy next to us kept jotting down things in a notebook, which we later found out was his calculus 3 homework. The young Jersey band played a short set, getting the crowd fired up, and then graciously went to the merch table to go greet fans as the crew set up for Underoath.
Soon, the lights went out again and the screamo dudes from Underoath took the stage. While Armor for Sleep played the kind of music I’m used to hearing on Fuse, Underoath was a lot harder, which alienated a bunch of girls that were around us. It kind of cracked me up in a way because the guys were just so into it. I can understand if you love your music and you’re psyched about playing it, but it seemed a bit over the top at times. We kept watching one of the dudes in the band, a big blonde guy keyboardist with a Mac laptop mounted to his keyboard stand. I can’t really describe it, but there was something so funny about watching a guy rock the fuck out on an iBook. He was headbanging, jumping all over the place, and screaming the lyrics along with the singer, all while he clicked and scrolled with the mouse. Most of the guys in the audience seemed really into it, but the girls started to flee as a giant most pit formed in the center of the floor. As one gaggle of high school girls stood around us, they started remarking that they were surprised Underoath was opening for Taking Back Sunday. Once I started thinking about it, it was kind of an odd choice. Underoath are a Christian band with screaming vocals and Taking Back Sunday are more chilled out and melodic. If you listen to Louder Now: Part One, Taking Back Sunday’s new CD/DVD, it hardly seems to scream, “Get a Jesus-loving hardcore group to open.” Since I wasn’t really feeling the music, my attention turned to the crowd.
There was one group of frat-looking boys who kept walking in front of us and high-fiving each other when they saw a cute girl. There was a cluster of sweaty dudes walking out of the pit victoriously in the other direction. Every now and then, a cluster of girls would walk by with their cell phones text messaging. The whole scene left me longing for the sweet, friendly, emo kids of the My Chemical Romance show.
Finally, Taking Back Sunday took the stage. Their lighting was cool and really conveyed the mood of the songs and their backdrop was cool, like a giant cassette player. They sounded fantastic, the harmony between lead singer Adam Lazzara and guitarist/background vocalist Fred Mascherino was tight and on point. All the guys really got into it and interacted with the crowd at different points. Of course, Lazzara also wowed everyone with his cool microphone swinging skills. (Just check out the videos for “Liar” or “MakeDamnSure” if you don’t know what I mean) I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see him throw the mic super high in the air and then whip it around and catch it or swing it out at a hundred miles per hour and then wrap it around his neck like a whip. Their presentation was as great as their sound. Everyone was really into it from the moment they opened with “Liar” to the second they closed with “MakeDamnSure” during their encore. There was even a cool part when Lazzara broke into Justin Timberlake’s “My Love”, proving that he can sing in a flawless falsetto better than Timberlake himself.
After the show ended, everyone filed out of the Fillmore and down the street. As we walked by, a whole bunch of kids were singing the lyrics and a group of girls were gushing that Lazzara was a total babe. I finally got home and I was ready to pass out after one of the busiest weeks of my life. I can remember when my weeks were filled up with term papers, homework and deadlines, so, even though it was strenuous, I couldn’t have been happier to have a week that was busy because I was seeing two of my favorite bands.